Official statement Re: Philippine Star online article dated April 1, 2019

DepEd Marikina 2019-04-02

DepEd Marikina strongly despise the inaccurate, unverified and irresponsible posting of Philippine Star citing Aia Del Mundo of bata.ph quoting the statement of a former teacher, this Division, and depicting an inaccurate picture relative to a supposed improper graduation protocol in a public school in Marikina City.

To directly set the facts straight, of which Philippine Star was not mindful of at least verifying before posting, we interpose:
1. The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Marikina City, in coordination with DepEd Marikina, fully provided the chairs during the actual graduation rites not only of the graduates but also that of the accompanying parents or guardians.
2. The LGU generously provided for medals, ribbons and other graduation materials
3. The LGU even sponsored the provisions for food and drinks to the attendees during the graduation rites/ceremonies.
4. The LGU, through its School Repairs and Maintenance Group (SRMG), even facilitated/assisted in the necessary preparations prior the graduation rites.
5. The NO Collection Policy of DepEd was strictly implemented and carefully monitored since the graduation expenses for public schools are taken care of by the LGU.
6. The posted picture depicting chairs arranged upside down pertains to the graduation practice when the lack of chairs to be used during practice necessitated the bringing of the same, but NEVER during the actual graduation day. It must be noted further that this bringing of chairs during graduation practice is a collaborative decision of the parents and of the stakeholders for everyone’s convenience and not a mere unilateral command of DepEd. The Philippine Star did not bother to at least verify these before posting.

In support of the foregoing, we attach as annexures pertinent pictures and statements categorically negating the incorrect imputation and proving the contrary. Much as we understand Philippine Star’s expression of noble intention in view of the plight of our beloved learners in public schools, this kind of irresponsible journalism cannot be countenanced, thus, must be retracted and corrected accordingly. Although needless of stating, DepEd Marikina is constantly observing the highest standard of policies and protocols to ensure that every learner in public schools within this Division is well attended to. Publication such as this is totally frustrating and undeserved. All told, the Philippine Star must be sternly reminded of the basic tenets of responsible journalism in this regard. Meanwhile, DepEd Marikina shall anticipate corrective action from Philippine Star’s end. And yes, iba kami sa Marikina!